Where To Stay In Tempe
If youre looking for a luxury stay in a prime location, definitely stay at the AC Hotel by Marriott Phoenix/Tempe Downtown. My room was stylish, modern, and a great place to unwind after busy days out and about. The hotel has every modern amenity, like complimentary Wi-Fi, a bright and clean fitness center, a luxe bar, and an on-site restaurant.
The AC Hotel by Marriott has a brilliant rooftop pool and relaxation area where you can lounge in the sunshine. I headed to the pool right after I settled into my hotel room. Feeling the warm sunshine on my skin and swimming in the refreshing waters was so dreamy. Plus, there were great views overlooking A Mountain.
Plus, I somehow had the whole place to myself in the mid-afternoon. The rooftop swimming area truly sets this hotel apart from the others. Combined with its excellent location near Tempe Town Lake, downtown Tempe, and A Mountain, the AC Hotel by Marriott should be your first hotel choice in Tempe.
Heres a handy booking tool where you can see all of the Booking.com accommodations and Airbnbs in one place. Its easy to compare prices and find the best rate for your trip to Tempe.
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Halle Heart Childrens Museum
Spend a few hours at this museum with the family youngsters, who can learn all about the workings of the circulatory system and how choices in exercise and diet can help keep the heart strong. There are plenty of other interactive options too, from collecting heart healthy groceries to learning how to call the emergency services if they recognize heart attack symptoms. The museum atmosphere is very relaxed with plenty of room to explore the many exhibits. If they wish, the kids have the option to then complete a worksheet with information that is found in the museum, and then given a little prize.
Ponderosa Livery & Boarding Stables
Get a taste of the Wild West at the Ponderosa Livery & Boarding Stables. You’ll connect with nature as you tour the desert by horseback and even prove it to your friends if you dare not to bathe. With more than 50 miles of trails to explore, your guided tour will show you everything there is to see in the desert on horseback. Saddle up and have fun pardner!
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Where To Stay In Tempe Az
We stayed at the Moxy Tempe, and loved the hip, fun vibe of the hotel! The Moxy Phoenix Tempe was the first location of the Moxy Brand, which dubs themselves as not your mothers hotel. The front desk at the Moxy also doubles as a bar, and you will be handed a delicious welcome drink as you check in.
The lobby and bar area also doubles as a social space, and there are many fun arcade games to play . The hotel hosts daily events, such as yoga, cornhole tournaments, karaoke nights, and more . The Moxy Counter/bar is open 24/7, which is great for grabbing an afternoon cocktail , or for a late night snack!
The Moxy also has an awesome pool area, which would be the perfect spot to cool off and relax during those hot summer days.
The rooms all have a super comfy platform beds, giant 45 Netflix-enabled TVs, fast Wifi, and rain showers .
The hotel is located right next to the ASU campus, and about 1.5 miles from downtown, making it a central location for easily exploring all that Tempe has to offer. The Moxy also offers complimentary Uber service to and from the Sky Harbor Airport simply call the hotel upon arrival, and they will set you up with a ride.
Sun Devil Stadium Tempe Az
Sun Devil Stadium is an outdoor football stadium located on the campus of the Arizona State University in Tempe. Built in 1958, the stadium has been renovated and enlarged several times. With a seating capacity of 64,248, the large stadium, sometimes referred to as the House of Heat, features a natural grass playing surface. The stadium is the home of the Arizona State Sun Devils, and it hosts the annual Cactus Bowl.
In addition to university games, the stadium has also hosted pre-season professional football games between the New York Jets and the Minnesota Vikings as well as between the Green Bay Packers and the Denver Broncos.
500 East Veterans Way, Tempe, Arizona, Phone: 480-965-2381
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The Best Of Things To Do In Phoenix
Phoenix is the fifth-largest city in the United States. Its huge! So, there are a tremendous amount of things to see and do and I cant possibly capture them all. I polled my friends for their favorite places and added some of my own as well. Hat tip and tremendous thanks to all of those who provided ideas!
Kiwanis Lake And Park Two Lovely Attractions In One
Kiwanis Lake is situated in gorgeous Kiwanis Park, with many locals enjoying the various attractions available, which include boating, seasonal paddleboat rentals, sports fields, playgrounds and a recreational center with wave pool. And theres more! For the little members of the family theres a small toddler area with a small climbing structure and music makers. There are swings and a zip line together with a 3 story tower with several slides. And for the romantics of the family, the park is open until midnight unlike the usual 10pm closure. A lovely spot for a dreamy walk after dinner.
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Patron The Sauvage Virtual Bottle Shop
Downtown Phoenix, onlineDont forget the wine! Local bottle shop Sauvage has bottles on bottles just waiting to find a home on your personal wine rack. Really, they offer a rotating selection of craft ciders, orange vinos, hard-to-find spirits, canned options, and so much more. So, if you need a way to effortlessly impress a Zoom date or youre searching for a natural wine to bring to a picnic in the park, any bottle, really, from Sauvage, is sure to spark a spirited conversation.
Arizona Mills Tempe Arizona
Located on South Arizona Mills Circle, Arizona Mills is a large indoor outlet shopping mall in Tempe. Opened in 1997, the mall contains more than 185 retailers and 6,000 parking spaces. The interior of the outlet mall features abstract graphics and several pieces of artwork.
Some of the stores include Burlington Coat Factory, Last Call Neiman Marcus, Ross Dress For Less, and the Sports Authority. The mall is also the home of Sea Life Arizona and the largest IMAX theater in Arizona.
5000 South Arizona Mills Circle, Tempe, Arizona, Phone: 480-491-9700
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Hunt For Murals And Public Art
Another one of my favorite things to do in a city is to find and snap photos of cool murals around town, and Tempe definitely did not disappoint! This is because the city sets aside a part of its budget for the Municipal Arts Fund in order to advance art in all forms.
You can check out some of my favorites here:
- Get Together Tempe mural at Social Hall : 715 S McClintock Dr, Tempe, AZ 85281
- Floral murals (by Gennaro Garciaat Tempe Public Market Cafe: 8749 S Rural Rd, Tempe, AZ 85284
- Murals at Tempe Marketplace: 2000 E Rio Salado Pkwy, Tempe, AZ 85281
- Meet me at Daley Park at Daly Park: 1625 S College Ave, Tempe, AZ 85281
- Dont Wake the Dreamer at Jaycee Park: 817 W 5th St, Tempe, AZ 85281
Wildlife Zoo Aquarium And Safari
To see exotic animals from around the world, head to the Wildlife World Zoo, Aquarium and Safari Park. The title says it all. Here, you’ll find Arizona’s largest collection of exotic animals– from large birds to wild cats. Unlike most zoos, this zoo offers an open natural environment so don’t style your hair with albino alligator bait! The safari park recently expanded with three new rhinos, baboons, hyenas, and many more fun and exotic creatures. To add to the fun are a bunch of rides including an African Safari train, a log flume ride and a skyride that gives you that bird’s eye view of the park.
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Getting Around In Tempe
One of the best things about Tempe is that having a car isnt essential to getting around the city. Downtown Tempe is very walkable, and you can access many of the citys highlights on foot.
For other points of interest outside of Downtown Tempe, you have several ways of getting around:
There are nine Valley Metro Rail stations in Tempe, with two stations downtown at the Tempe Transit Center on Veterans Way & College Avenue, and Mill Avenue & 3rd Street. The Valley Metro Rail connects Tempe to points in Phoenix and Mesa in about 30 minutes. Fares are $2 per ride or $4 for a day pass and can be purchased at a self-service machine in Valley Metro Rail stations. More information on routes, fares, and schedule can be found here.
Valley Metro Bus service connects Tempe to all surrounding cities in the Phoenix Metropolitan area. Buses stop along all arterial streets in the city. You can find more route and information by using the trip planner here.
Tempe has a free bus service around town called ORBIT, which connects downtown Tempe to its surrounding neighborhoods. ORBIT has six different routes, each named after planets. You can find more information about routes and schedules here.
Bike and Scooter Sharing:
Full Throttle Power Sports Tours
Whether a novice, a little experienced, or an advanced rider, this company can offer you a fabulous family fun day out! With the choice of a four wheeler ATV or dune buggy, experience loads of excitement powering up and down the nearby sand dunes and mountains, and through the beautiful desert cacti! And, if youre more of a water lover than landlubber, Full Throttle Power Sports also rent jet skis for you to glide along the waters in safety and with the full knowledge that the machinery is safely maintained.
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Admire Public Art & Architecture
If you regularly follow the blog, youll know that Im a huge fan of public art and I try to see some in every city that I visit. Tempe has no shortage of unique public art and architecture that showcase its artistic and progressive nature.
The city promotes and welcomes permanent and temporary public art as an expressive tool that supports and encourages a strong sense of community and belonging. While I only had the chance to see a small portion of Tempes public art, I urge you to wander around and explore these art installations that are meant for everyone to enjoy.
Meet Me At Daley Park
Tempe resident and local artist, Jake Early, has painted a massive mural on a concrete wall that even wraps around the corner. Meet Me at Daley Park illustrates the people, stories, and objects of the neighborhood, as contributed by the residents themselves. Its bright, colorful, and a wonderful way to represent a neighborhood and its locals.
I could already see some elements from around town in the mural, such as the bridge, but other imagery was a mystery to a visitor like myself. Its beautiful, nonetheless.
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Hayden Butte Preserve Tempe Arizona
Hayden Butte Preserve is a protected area and a famous local landmark located on the southeast corner of Mill Avenue and Rio Salado Parkway. Also known as Tempe Butte, the butte stands 1,398 feet high. The City of Tempe declared it a park in 1973, and it was designated a preserve in 2002 because of its many desert plants and animals.
There are approximately 500 petroglyphs found here, which the Hohokam Native Americans made sometime between 750 AD and 1450 AD. The 25-acre park is a popular area for outdoor exercise, especially hiking.
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Tempe Mill Ave And Tempe Beach Park
Tempe is very much a college town and home to Arizona State University near Phoenix, and it offers a lot of fun things to do. Stroll Mill Ave. with lots of interesting boutique shops and great restaurants. There are a lot of great ethnic restaurants on Mill and nearby to choose from including Irish, Ethiopian, Lebanese, Greek, and others.
Visit Tempe Town Lake to enjoy kayaking, sailing, rowing, jogging, fishing or picnicking. There are also many festivals and events at Tempe Beach Park throughout the year that are a lot of fun.
And Gammage Theater is right off of Mill Ave with Broadway-style shows throughout the year as well as other performing arts shows.
Not far away from the Mill Street action is Big Surf Waterpark. Its home to the third-largest wave park in the world and is a great place to cool off during the warm weather.
Tempe Beach Park is located at 80 W Rio Salado Pkwy, Tempe, AZ 85281. The heart of Mill Ave. starts right across the street and continues for several blocks. Gammage Theater is located at 1200 S Forest Ave, Tempe, AZ 85281. Big Surf Waterpark is located at 1500 N McClintock Dr, Tempe, AZ 85281. Tickets cost $34 for adults and older children, and $24 for younger children . They are open from 10 to 6 Saturday through Thursday and are closed on Friday.
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Places To Eat In Phoenix
There are an absolute ton of great restaurants in Phoenix and it would be hard to list them all. Phoenix is definitely a foodies destination. In fact, Id challenge you to find something not available in the area! From 5-star dining to cozy and tasty dives, youll find it in Phoenix.
Here are some of my favorites by area. And if you want even more, check out my dining guide for Phoenix. There are over 100 restaurants and Im sure youll find something youll love!
Gather With Friends At Phoenixs Newest Collective Space
Downtown PhoenixPemberton PHX is part art piece, part dining destination with pop up eateries and bars by Saint Pasta, Abnormal Tap Trailer, Melt Ice Cream, and moremaking it the perfect place for a socially distanced dinner and drinks with friends. Just make sure you allow extra time to explore the colorful, quirky property for your next Gram-worthy photo.
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Arizona Museum Of Natural History
Visit exhibits like Dinosaur Mountain and the Paleo Dig Pit at the Arizona Museum of Natural History. Located in Mesa, this museum is for anyone that loves dinosaurs, fossils, and ancient cultures. Explore the sciences of archeology and paleontology, and delve into the ancient history of the area, long before it was even a desert. The exhibits will have kids, teens and adults alike craning their necks to look up at monster skeletal remains and reproductions of ancient creatures. Timed ticket sales are available and must be purchased in advance.
Thanks To Our Friends At The City Of Tempe:
This video was made by our friends and partners at the City of Tempe for the 2021 Healing Field® Memorial. Its a great reminder of how our community comes together each year to honor to lives lost.
We are SO thankful to all of the people who help make this event happen each year.
Watch this next video and listen as the planes fly overhead. What a reminder of the day that we vow to never forget.
May God bless America. Now and forever
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